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Bemidji State basketball: Beaver men still in playoff hunt with one week remaining

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One week remains in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season for the Bemidji State men's basketball team.

The Beavers are playing for pride and a chance for the playoffs.

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There are three games left to play for the Beavers beginning with today's matchup at defending national champion Winona State at 8 p.m. in the only game this weekend.

The fact that Bemidji State is not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs at this point in the season is a true sign of progress for a team that won just a combined eight NSIC games over the previous two seasons.

Bemidji State enters tonight's game 8-16 overall and 6-11 NSIC.

Bemidji State must beat Winona State (20-6 overall, 13-4 NSIC) to stay in the playoff chase into the final week of the season.

The Beavers stand ninth in the conference standings, three games behind eighth place Concordia-St. Paul for the final playoff spot.

Concordia's final three games are against Minnesota State University, Moorhead, St. Cloud State and Upper Iowa.

The Golden Bears can clinch the final playoff spot by winning any of those three games or a Beavers loss.

Bemidji State conclude season next Wednesday against Minnesota-Duluth and next Saturday against Wayne State. Both games are at BSU Gymnasium.

The Beavers are coming off an 81-72 victory over Minnesota-Crookston. The win last Saturday ended Bemidji State's season-long seven-game losing streak.

Leading the Beavers into Winona is junior guard Seth Haake, who has reached double digit points in 14 of the last 16 games. He averages a team-high 13 points per game.

Brady Fairbanks, Taylor Hall and Jake Lindstrom are all averaging 10 points per game.

Winona State won the previous meeting against the Beavers, 90-60 at BSU Gymnasium in December.

The last time the Beavers defeated the Warriors came in 2005 when Winona State was ranked No. 14 in the country.

Women go for two

The Bemidji State women's basketball team ended the longest losing streak in school history last weekend by defeating Minnesota-Crookston 78-76.

Prior to last Saturday's win against the Golden Eagles, the Beavers had not won since Nov. 25. It was a stretch that lasted 18 games.

Senior Heidi Matzke had a big night against Crookston, scoring a team-high 25 points to lead the Beavers to the win.

Samantha Baldwin had 14 points and Taylor Davis added 10 for Bemidji State.

The Beavers enter today's game against the Warriors with a 3-21 overall record and are 1-16 in the NSIC.

Winona State is 19-5 overall and 12-5 in the NSIC.

The Beavers return to Bemidji next week to face Minnesota-Duluth on Wednesday and Wayne State on Saturday. Both game times are at 6 p.m.

Y estromgren@bemidjipioneer.com

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